Wedding portrait of Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laan by Frans Hals‘Waiting for “I Do”’ by C.B. Anderson The Society February 13, 2021 Humor, Love Poems, Poetry 17 Comments . ********************A marriage Is not an accident a cynic should ********************Disparage Until the women of the neighborhood **********Decide unbridled sex *****Is something they should give away *****To fund a Roman holiday **********With all a man expects ***************From life—or hopes For, anyhow. It’s fairly difficult To find a buff hospitable adult ***************Who knows the ropes And doesn’t sweat the absence of a vow, *****But if you land a faithful friend ***************Who doesn’t mind ***************Your flaws, who’s blind *****To all your foibles till the end, Then you have caught a nearly perfect Frau. ***************It’s often been said: *****A sympathetic counterpart ***************Will soften the head *****And lift the shadows from a heart. I hope that this benign refrain is true, And so, my reigning valentine, should you. . . C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 17 Responses Cynthia Erlandson February 13, 2021 This is fascinatingly constructed; I actually love the variety of line length! Reply C.B. Anderson February 13, 2021 Yes, Cindy, I think the term for this is heterometric. Each stanza follows its own rules. While the poem as a whole is iambic, lines one and three of the penultimate stanza make use of an additional variation (iamb/anapest). Another example is “The Catholic Work Ethic” here: https://classicalpoets.org/2019/01/23/three-poems-before-sleeping-by-c-b-anderson/ Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 13, 2021 This is a heterometric tour de force. Every section is unique, either in rhyme scheme or metrical structure. Two quatrains are ABAB, two are ABBA, the six-line section is ABCCBA, and the closing couplet is AA. And there’s a mix of monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, and pentameter. And notice that the first four sections constitute two perfectly constructed English sentences. Try diagramming them! Reply C.B. Anderson February 13, 2021 I haven’t diagrammed a sentence since 9th grade, Joseph, and that was back when a high school education still meant something. Good English is a thing of the past, and anyone who points that out will be vilified by the Leftist establishment for being racist, Euro-centric or for conforming to some other label manufactured ad hoc. to suit their agenda. Our public culture has become gangrene, and it’s hard to know what to do about it. Reply Anna J. Arredondo February 13, 2021 C.B., My homeschooled children and their homeschooled peers are learning to diagram sentences. And we, their moms, are learning it (or in rarer cases relearning) alongside them, thus “redeeming” our own spotty education, as we like to see it. So, perhaps a tiny ray of hope? There is a remnant who prefers to educate, rather than program, their offspring… Cynthia Erlandson February 13, 2021 That is fantastic, Anna! I am grateful for families like yours. Our society needs you. Yael February 13, 2021 Very interestingly constructed and entertaining poem, thank you. Reply C.B. Anderson February 13, 2021 You, Yael, are very welcome, and I can only hope to entertain you in the future. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant February 13, 2021 Wow, C.B.! What a head-turning and tempting form. I’m with Cynthia and Yael, it’s interestingly and fascinatingly constructed. I haven’t quite got my head around it yet. It begs for further scrutiny and a close reading of Dr. Salemi’s instructive comment (thank you, Joe). I also like the way the poem romps along in all its cheeky glory. I particularly like the highly amusing closing couplet and especially the term “reigning valentine”. I’m an “ex-fiancée. 😉 I also like the title… it frames the poem perfectly. Great stuff! Reply C.B. Anderson February 13, 2021 Well, Susan, it’s not really a form, but rather a conglomerate of forms. Don’t try to get your head around it, because every instance of heterometric stanzas is one of a kind. It’s called freedom. Reply Margaret Coats February 13, 2021 C. B., I am thoroughly pleased to have read this nonce form after Joseph Salemi saved me the trouble of analyzing it. But since it is tempting Susan, it may not be a nonce form for long. Considering that the cynic author has arrayed this little valentine with some bright hope, I hesitated to say what I thought when I first saw the title. However, your reply to Joseph brings it out after all: are you alluding to ‘Waiting for Godot’? Probably shouldn’t ask the question, as Samuel Beckett became more and more grumpy every time anyone asked him for the slightest explanation of his play. Still, you seem more communicative, in clearer English, than he. Reply James A. Tweedie February 14, 2021 As far as I’m concerned, C.B., Whatever random form Your poems take, it seems to me They always touch and warm Both heart and mind; And even when they’re teasing, I am inclined To find your poems pleasing. Reply C.B. Anderson February 14, 2021 The allusion to Godot is entirely adventitious, Margaret. As for Susan (or anyone else) being tempted by this nonce form, I suspect that such persons will come up with a new nonce form to suit the needs of the poem they are trying to write. After all, such experiments may be carried out with (almost) complete abandon, with any inherent order being entirely self-imposed. Reply C.B. Anderson February 14, 2021 A nice light touch, James. Reply David Watt February 15, 2021 I have sometimes wondered whether it is acceptable to have a heterometric stanza in traditional poetry. You have shown that it is perfectly acceptable to embrace freedom, as long as the overall effect pleases the eye, ear, and heart. Reply C.B. Anderson February 15, 2021 There are two ways to go about this, David: 1.) a conglomerate, as in the example above or 2.) a succession of heterometric stanzas where the metrics and the rhyme scheme are identical in each stanza. The latter is more typical of what you will find in the canon, and especially typical of the heterometric poems I myself have written in the past. But there is a third alternative: Read Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” in which he creates no discernible patterns at all, but simply weaves rhythms, rhymes and images to create a spectacular panorama disciplined by nothing but the pregnant night air. If you can do that, then you will have created a poem for the ages. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43588/dover-beach Reply David Watt February 16, 2021 Thanks C.B. for providing a clear picture of the alternatives, and also for the link to “Dover Beach”. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.